Qualities of Inclusive Teacher


Q. Qualities of Inclusive Teacher

Characteristics of effective teachers in inclusive programs

1. Teachers

  • “most significant element in early childhood classrooms” (Allen & Cowdery, 2012)
  • Quality
  • Attitudes about children
  • Philosophy of education for children
  • Provide DAP
  • Understand child development in general
  • Understand that all children have individual needs and developmental patterns
  • Respectful of diversity and cultural family characteristics

2. Teacher as Team Member

  • Must work with other professionals to meet needs of children
  • Interdisciplinary teams
  • Each professional brings expertise
  • Team members support one another
  • Knowledge of team members used for decision making
  • Support and information is provided – accommodations and adaptations need to be made
  • Teachers are the experts in providing developmentally appropriate environments

3. Philosophy of High Quality Inclusive Programs

  • Early childhood is a unique phase in a child’s development
  • Families are very important in a child’s early education
  • Teaching practices need to be developmentally and individually appropriate
  • Inclusive settings are the preferred service delivery model
  • Professionals must be culturally responsive
  • A collaborative interdisciplinary model is important for high quality delivery

4. Developmentally Appropriate Practice

  • Teacher knows child development
  • Teacher knows what is individually appropriate
  • Teacher is culturally responsive
  • DAP Overview from NAEYC Position Statement

5. Teachers’ Concerns

  • Worried about their abilities to provide for children with special needs
  • Worried about having adequate support
  • Related services
  • Instructional assistance from a special educator
  • Additional classroom assistance
  • Worried about having needed knowledge of special need and the unique challenges involved

6. Finding Help

  • Your own research and pursuit of information
  • On-the-job experience
  • Knowledge and support from interdisciplinary team members
  • Parents of the child – they are the ultimate experts on their child

7. Information for Your Key Assessment!

  • Look on p. 286 in the section “Teacher and Program Self-evaluation”
  • When you complete your research and your observations, you are going to consider these issues. When you prepare your inclusive environment, you are planning in these areas as they relate to the type disability you researched.
  • What accommodations must be made to meet the child’s needs?
  • What barriers need to be removed that might keep the child from participating fully in the classroom?
  • What changes need to be made in the physical environment? In the scheduling, curriculum, materials, communications, etc.?

8. What Else Do We Need to Remember When Working in an Inclusive Classroom?

  • A child is a child first and foremost
  • Problems should be thought of as developmental issues, not disability issues.
  • Teachers must be experts about typical growth and development
  • Teachers must remember that development occurs in sequential patterns; that is more important than expecting development at particular ages.
  • Developmental domains are interrelated; delays in one area may cause delays in other areas.

9. More to Remember

  • Development is irregular; developmental inconsistency means that new skills may come and go until they finally become part of the child’s behaviors; unsettled periods following rapid development are known as developmental disequilibrium.
  • Children interact with their environment that facilitates new learnings in transactional learning
  • Teachers’ responsibilities include: provide appropriate activities, facilitate learning in a positive climate, and allow children to explore and experiment.

10. More Terms

  • Readiness to learn – a term used for beginning school with the prerequisite skills for beginning formal academics; it is an ironic term considering children come into the world ready to learn
  • Multiple influences impact a child’s readiness to learn
  • Teachable moments – naturally occurring opportunities to learn something new
  • Milieu teaching or incidental teaching – child initiated teaching opportunity

11. Who’s the Best?

  • Has a thorough knowledge of child development
  • Has many teaching skills and strategies
  • Knows how to adapt curriculum, activities, and materials so that all children can participate
  • Develop positive relationships with the children and their families
  • Use developmentally appropriate strategies
  • Use individually appropriate strategies

12. What Else?

  • Enthusiastic
  • Sense of humor
  • Patient
  • Consistent be sure to know examples for
  • Flexible all of these
  • Trustworthy
  • Sets and enforces limits
  • Facilitates experiences
  • Scaffolds

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